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« Science: January 2009 | Main | Science: March 2009 »

Science

Scantily Clad Women = Tools

A study found that looking at sexy images of women really does cause men's brains to shut down.

Researchers used brain scans to show that when straight men looked at pictures of women in bikinis, areas of the brain that normally light up in anticipation of using tools, like spanners and screwdrivers, were activated.

Scans of some of the men found that a part of the brain associated with empathy for other peoples' emotions and wishes shut down after looking at the pictures.

...

Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago yesterday, Fiske said the findings called into question the impact of sexualised images of women that might be pinned on workplace walls or sent around offices where there was a strong locker-room culture.

"I'm not saying there should be censorship, but people need to be aware of the associations people will have in their minds," Fiske said.

Did it have to be tools? Couldn't it have been something a little more flattering?


By min | February 16, 2009, 12:40 PM | Science | Comments (1)| Link



Fire-f&*$ing-ball

In a follow-up from last week's post about the sattelites that collided:

You only need to watch the first few seconds of the video. It's mainly the same scene either shown repeatedly or from different angles.

From Dallas to Austin and beyond, sightings were reported of a red and orange fireball with a small black centre speeding toward Earth before burning out in a trail of lingering white smoke.

Roland Herwig, spokesman for the US federal aviation administration's south-west division, confirmed the fireball was probably superheated debris from a broken satellite falling to Earth.

The FAA could not directly link the debris to the reported collision last week of Russian and US communications satellites, however.

"It's yet to be proved it's those satellites," Herwig said.

It's also unclear exactly how many pieces of debris tumbled toward Texas, or whether any more are on the way.

Link

He's right. It might not be "those satellites". It might very well be some bits of other satellites or refuse we left up there.


By min | February 16, 2009, 12:33 PM | Science | Comments (5)| Link



Space Trash

So, the garbage we left out in space is now getting in the way of future space garbage we plan on leaving in space. An old Russian satellite collided with an operationa American satellite, and they destroyed each other. Now there's several dozen, if not hundreds, of fragments floating around out there. This poses the possibilty of fragments flying into other satellites or the manned space station.

That's all well and good, and they should be concerned about tracking these fragments so they don't fly into the space station or destroy another satellite, but what happens when the fragments lose velocity? I don't think they're so far away from the earth that they are free and clear of its gravitational pull. If gravity is acting on them, they would lose momentum, slow down, and possibly plummet to the earth. I suppose the hope is that whatever it is will get burned up in the atmosphere, but if there are pieces that are large enough to maintain some mass even after re-entry, that could fall on someone and kill them. Or hit a plane. Or anything, really. Are they monitoring that possibility, too? Cause, i've read about their progress with shooting down moving things, and it's not so good.

Watch out. The sky is falling.


By min | February 12, 2009, 12:48 PM | Science | Comments (1)| Link



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